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Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

by Victor @ Taste of Artisan

This gluten-free carrot cake has a lighter composition compared to traditional carrot cakes and is noticeably less dense. Still, similar to many traditional carrot cakes, it’s very, very moist. In our family, this is THE carrot cake recipe. Although we have several really good ones we use this one more often than the others we have.

Gluten free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting cut in half.

In our family, we are a little obsessed with carrot cakes and make them all year round, not just on holidays like Easter. This cake, in particular, is so easy to make and is so forgiving that it’s usually on the top of our list when thinking of a dessert for when company comes over.

If you want to make this cake a simple coffee cake, you totally can. Bake it in a single 8-10″ cake pan, let it cool, dust with powdered sugar, slice and enjoy. It makes a perfect gluten-free carrot coffee cake – light, tasty and unassuming.

Now, if you want to indulge a little and make it a real dessert, bake it in two layers and layer it with cream cheese frosting. Then add some coarsely chopped roasted almonds on top. Just looking at it will make your mouth water.

Two layer gluten free carrot cake cut in half.

This cake is flourless and hence gluten-free. It uses finely ground almonds as a binding agent instead of flour. The almond flour is what makes it so light and delicate.

If you don’t have prepared almond flour, also called almond meal, but have access to blanched almonds you can easily make your own. All you need to do is grind the blanched almonds in a food processor, adding a 1⁄4 cup of sugar to the almonds as you grind them to help absorb the oil released by the nuts and prevent the mixture from caking. The almonds should, ideally, be as fine as granulated sugar after processing.

Full carrot cake on a cutting board.

This cake is a great keeper – it can be stored in the refrigerator, well wrapped, for up to 1 week, and in the freezer for much longer.

Slices of gluten-free carrot cake on a cutting board.

 

Two layer gluten free carrot cake cut in half.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot cake, flourless carrot cake, gluten free carrot cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 421kcal
Author: Victor

Ingredients

For the egg yolk mixture:

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 oz honey about 55 grams or 2 Tbsp
  • 6 oz carrots peeled and finely grated (about 170 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp dark rum about 30 ml
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz almond meal about 270 grams

For the egg white mixture:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 5 oz granulated sugar about 140 grams

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 Tbsp Heavy cream or milk; you may need to add a few teaspoons more for softer frosting if you like
  • 4 Tbsp butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

For the garnish:

  • 1/2 cup almonds roasted and coarsely chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Gather all the ingredients and have them ready to go as you need them.
    Ingredients for gluten free carrot cake.
  • Line the bottom of the cake pan(s) with parchment paper (see note 1).
  • In a medium bowl, whip the egg yolks and honey to the ribbon stage. Fold in the carrots (including the juice), rum, and vanilla.
    Bowl with liquid ingredients for carrot cake.
  • Next fold in the almond flour.
    Bowl with liquid ingredients for carrot cake with almond flour folded in.
  • Whip the egg whites to soft peaks, while adding granulated sugar very slowly while whipping.
    Bowl with whipped egg whites.
  • Carefully fold the egg white mixture into the egg-yolk-carrot mixture.
    Bowl with finished carrot cake batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan(s). If using two cake pans, make sure that the batter is divided evenly between the two.
    View of two pans filled with carrot cake batter.
  • Bake at 375F for 10 minutes.
  • Without opening the oven, lower the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for about 30 minutes longer, or until a wooden stick comes out clean (see note 2).
  • Remove the cake(s) from the oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes inside the cake pan(s) on a cooling rack at room temperature.
    Two pans with baked carrot cake layers.
  • Run a knife around the inside perimeter of the cake pan(s) and remove the cake(s) by inverting them onto a flat surface (cardboard, cutting board, etc). Immediately flip them back right-side up. Let them cool completely.
    Carrot cake layers taken outside of cake pans.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese frosting by mixing all of the ingredients in a small bowl. I like my cream cheese frosting for this cake to be fairly stiff so I don't add much cream or milk to it, maybe a teaspoon if the cream cheese is too stiff to begin with. It works better for a tall cake to keep the layers together when slicing and plating. For a shorter cake, it doesn't matter so you can make whatever consistency you want for your frosting.
  • When the cakes are completely cooled, spread half of the cream cheese frosting evenly on top of one of the cakes. Set the other cake on top and gently press down while making a gentle twisting motion left to right. This will ensure that the layers stick together when slicing and serving. Spread the rest of the frosting on top and sprinkle with the chopped roasted almonds.
    Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting spread on top.
  • If making a single layer cake, spread all of the cream cheese frosting evenly on top of the carrot cake, then sprinkle with the almonds.
    Carrot cake with frosting on top and chopped almonds sprinkled over the top.
  • Cut into the desired number of slices and serve. I find that this cake is fairly rich so it can make 12 servings just fine.

Notes

Note 1 - In this step you have several choices:
  • You can bake your carrot cake in a single cake pan then serve it plain, dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Bake in a single pan, and serve as a single layer cake topped with cream cheese frosting. Best to use an 8-10-inch cake pan.
  • Bake in one layer, then slice horizontally in half. Use an 8-inch cake pan. Ten will be too thin to slice in half evenly.
  • Bake in two layers, which will be a lot neater. Use 6-8-inch cake pans. I like using 6-inch cake pans - that gives me a taller cake (shown on pictures in the post) that looks extremely cute. You have to be a little careful when slicing it and plating - thin and tall slices don't hold together very well but they look adorable.
Any of the options above is great, it really depends on your preference.
Note 2
Baking times above are good for when baking in a single 10-inch or double 6-inch cake pans. 
You will need decrease baking time to about 20-25 minutes if baking in double 8-inch pans. You will also need to increase the baking time to about 35 minutes or so if baking in a single 8-inch cake pan.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 2905IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 104mg | Iron: 1.5mg

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13 comments

Millican Pecan June 26, 2019 - 5:41 pm

Fabulous recipe! I love carrot cake and make mine with pecans rather than almonds for rich flavor. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

Reply
Victor @ Taste of Artisan June 27, 2019 - 2:22 pm

You are very welcome.

Reply
Susan Miller April 9, 2019 - 3:44 pm

I wanted to make this cake but I don’t have a scale, so can’t weigh ingredients. Can you provide quantities, especially for the carrots and almond meal? I know that’s less precise, but it’s my usual method.

Reply
victor April 9, 2019 - 6:15 pm

Susan, 10oz almond flour is just shy of 3 cups. 6oz of grated carrots will be 3 1/2 cups. Sugar – about 2/3 cup. Used online conversion tools, hope they are correct.

Reply
Susan Miller June 23, 2019 - 8:27 pm

Thanks very much for the quantities. I actually made the cake before I had this info (used my own calculations). I made it as a Passover dessert and it was delicious. I’m about to make it for a second time, so I appreciate having your ingredient measures.

Reply
Victor @ Taste of Artisan June 23, 2019 - 8:57 pm

You are very welcome. Glad you enjoyed the cake.

Reply
RJ March 7, 2018 - 12:55 pm

Just wanted to thank you for the great recipe – we all loved it. It definitely has a lighter texture than the traditional carrot cake but still very moist and delightful. The coarsely chopped crunchy almonds on top are a nice addition.

Reply
victor March 7, 2018 - 1:30 pm

No problem. Glad to hear you and your family like the recipe.

Reply
Karen February 27, 2018 - 12:35 pm

This is JUST what I wanted to serve at Passover. Looks amazing plus I can make it beforehand so I’m not crazy/rushed the day of our seder. Can you tell me what type of almonds you used for the top? Should I use salted or unsalted?

Reply
Karen February 27, 2018 - 12:38 pm

One more question, please. If I make it ahead of time, will it keep if I assemble and keep in the fridge for a day or two? Or should I add the cream cheese frosting the day I serve it?

Reply
victor February 27, 2018 - 1:32 pm

I’d say assemble and refrigerate. This will help keeping the layers moist.

Reply
victor February 27, 2018 - 1:34 pm

I would add the almonds on top right before serving if you want them crunchy. You can roast them in advance and keep in a sealed container.

Reply
victor February 27, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Thank you. Those are plain raw almonds that I roasted in a well preheated oven for 18 minutes exactly at 350F. Then chopped them up with a knife. They are unsalted.

Reply